This study evaluated the effectiveness of the New York City-based Center for Employment Opportunities' transitional jobs programs.
Findings from this study indicate that the general measure of prior arrests is the strongest predictor of an offender's initial risk of recidivism, and that for former prisoners at high risk of rearrest, participation in the Center for Employment Opportunities' (CEO's) transitional jobs programs significantly reduced their probability of rearrest, reconviction, and the number of rearrests in the second year of participation in the program. The findings also indicate that there were few impacts from the CEO programs on recidivism rates for former prisoners in the low-risk and medium-risk groups during the 2 years of the program, and that for high-risk former prisoners, the positive effects of the program did not emerge until the second year of the program. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the New York City-based Center for Employment Opportunities' transitional jobs programs on reducing recidivism rates for low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk former prisoners. Data for the study were obtained from three sources: a baseline questionnaire collected from study participants at the time of assignment; criminal history and recidivism data collected from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice and the New York City Department of Correction; and from the New York State Department of Labor and the National Directory of New Hires. The study findings indicate that the CEO transitional jobs programs are most effective for those former prisoners at highest risk of recidivating. Study limitations and implications for policy and practice are discussed. Tables, figures, and references